By Chris King • 08 July 2022 • 1:49
Image of a bag of medicinal cannabis.
Credit: Creative Commons
Pharmacies in Malaga are ready and willing to participate in the dispensing of drugs derived from cannabis. This news came on Thursday, July 7, after a subcommission of the Congress of Deputies endorsed the regulation of its therapeutic use in Spain at the end of June.
At the moment, only hospital pharmacies are permitted to do this. There is now a period of six months during which the Spanish Medicines Agency (AEMPS) has to make a decision about dispensing it.
Francisco Florido, the president of the Association of Pharmacists of Malaga, clarified: “We are talking about the medicinal use of cannabis, not recreational use. It is not the flower of cannabis”, he insisted.
“They are not joints, but drugs prepared from their derivatives to treat ailments such as, among others, cancer pain and always with a prescription. He clarifies that the pronouncement of the AEMPS is still missing. There is still nothing. Perhaps, before the end of the year, it will be seen what the Spanish Medicines Agency decides”, Mr Florido added.
“But the favourable report from the congressional subcommittee opens the door for the Agency to authorize new drugs and master formulas”, the president maintained. Currently, there are only two authorized drugs -Sativex and Epidiolex- that are used for multiple sclerosis and certain epileptic seizures.
The pronouncement from the Medicinal Cannabis Subcommittee is “correct” said the representative of the Malaga apothecaries. This is because “there is a need for many patients with problems of a different nature that are not currently catered for. That therapeutic gap could be covered by the use of this medicinal cannabis”.
In Florido’s opinion: “With this step, the door is opened to deepen the investigation of the medicinal use of this substance. Pharmacists are willing to participate and collaborate”, he assured. He stressed that in this way there would be “equitable” access for all patients who need it, and trips to hospitals would be avoided.
Medicinal use will always be strictly with medical prescription and pharmaceutical dispensing. In addition, it stipulates annual controls of the AEM and the National Drug Plan so that there is no inappropriate use of these drugs. “It is a narcotic, and requires control in both prescription and dispensing”, Florido clarified.
Financing is totally public at the moment, as they are dispensed in hospitals. It will be the Agency that must eventually determine how community pharmacies must control its use. The Subcommittee’s pronouncement means that the AEM must now evaluate the possibility of new medicines – apart from the two authorised ones – and that community pharmacies prepare master formulas with the approved active ingredients.
After approval was given by Congress at the end of last month, Jesus Aguilar, the president of the General Council of Official Colleges of Pharmacists (CGCOF) applauded the move. He defended that dispensing in community pharmacies reconciled: “the most demanding criteria of public health, patient safety, health education, and access with equity criteria”.
Apothecaries argue that it is an option that will benefit the sick. That is why the CGCOF is confident that the proposal “will be included in future legislation that regulates the medicinal use of cannabis in Spain, taking community pharmacies into account under the same conditions as hospital ones”, as reported by malagahoy.es.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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